Online courtrooms; the future or a virtual gimmick?

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An experiment will test the viability of virtual courtrooms online... how does your firm handle stress among its staff?... and the EU offers a better forum for patent disputes...

Courts of the Future – Online?
We’re all familiar with a typical courtroom scene; but what if the robes and gowns worn by judges and lawyers were bathrobes and nightgowns? OK, that may be a little over the top, but if an experiment held today across three continents is the way we’re moving, then courts as we know them may eventually be replaced by online ‘e-courts’. The link-up involved lawyers in New Zealand, London and Washington watching a virtual trial online, with court proceedings on one screen and case documents on a second. The system is being hailed as a way to streamline international cases but also domestic ones, with savings in both time and money being the advantages. Read the full story.
 
Stress – How Does Your Firm Deal With It?
A new survey says that stress is rife in law firms with young lawyers in particular suffering under increased workloads. The Lawyer2B poll conducted in April found that the amount of work, rather than purely long hours, was the main stress factor. Although some firms have introduced programs to assist staff with stress, the report showed that only a small number (17%) of those polled were aware of their firm having such a program. The poll which was conducted in London also included US firms, and they were found to be less supportive of a work-life balance than their UK-based counterparts. Read the full story.
 
Who Owns Unfinished Business When A Law Firm Goes Bust?
When a law firm goes out of business and partners move to another firm, who owns that business? Does it belong to the new law firm, the trustees of the bankrupt firm, or to the client? This is a matter which is in dispute in the US at the moment with two judges drawing different opinions on a case involving a bankrupt firm. The New York Court of Appeals will now consider the case on Wednesday. Read the full story.
 
EU Better for Patents
A new court in the EU will save time and money and is likely to become a preferred forum for patent disputes for global companies. The Unified Patent Court has jurisdiction in 25 countries in Europe, which not only simplifies the process for patent dispute cases, but is a lot more cost effective. The UPC is likely to be chosen in favour of US courts due to the lower cost and the larger EU consumer market. Read the full story.
 
How Can You Acquire Free Publicity for Your Law Firm?
In this ever competitive world, publicity can be hugely important, but can often be hugely costly. There are ways though to leverage free PR and find highly effective ways to ‘advertise’ without even appearing to. These clever ideas generally involve showing what you know; sharing your expertise and owning the position of the ‘go-to guys’ in your market. Read the full story.
 

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